Women sweat less prolifically than men, even though they have more heat-activated sweat glands per unit of skin area. Women begin sweating at higher skin and core temperatures. For a comparable exercise load, even after equal acclimatization, women produce less sweat than men.
Though women sweat less, they tolerate heat similar to men of equal fitness at equal exercise levels. Experts believe that men likely use more evaporative cooling while women make more use of circulatory cooling. The experts point out that producing less sweat to maintain core temperatures protects women from dehydration.
I’m about to give you at least one earworm for the day…be forewarned…
I spent last Saturday volunteering at the Leadville Trail 100 Running Race. In past years, I’ve worked at the turn around point of the run, Winfield ghost town. The job task this year, along with fellow mountain bike racer Scott Ellis, was to stop each and every car going up the dirt road to Winfield and hand them an instructional flyer. The flyer gave running crew teams information about parking and it gave people out for a drive, heading for a camp site or a local trailhead information about the running event.
I don’t know what it was that prompted me (Boredom? Road dust? The sun and heat?) to sing a piece of an old childhood song I recalled:
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out…
That one line was about all I could recall. Then Scott said, “Oh there’s a lot more to the song and my mom used to sing it.” He broke into a version similar to:
Do you ever think as a hearse goes by,
that you may be the next to die?
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
They put you in a big black box,
And cover you up with dirt and rocks.
All goes well for about a week,
Then your coffin begins to leak.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose,
They eat the jelly between your toes.
A big green worm with rolling eyes,
Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes.
Your stomach turns a slimy green,
And pus pours out like whipping cream.
You spread it on a slice of bread,
And that's what you eat when you are dead.
Oh my gosh! Your mom sang this to you? What other childhood songs did she sing?
Great green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat
Dirty little birdie feet…
After I quit laughing and groaning at all of the lyrics, I asked “Why would your mom sing songs like that?!”
It turns out that Scott’s mom was singing common kid’s camp songs to him and his siblings. I had heard portions of the songs in the past, but I didn’t know that there were so many lines to each song. After some research, I found that the songs are classics and there are multiple versions of both (warning, this link has music) The Hearse Song and Great Green Globs of Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts.
I’ll try to convince Scott to document his mom’s versions because I think they are good and different than what I’ve found online.
These songs are sticky. Once you hear them or sing them once, they get stuck in your ears and in your head. They are earworms…you’ll find yourself humming the tunes all day.
I think the cure is to sing a few lines to your office mates, friends or family and get them to sing a few lines. The best gift to yourself is to give an earworm away.
**Warning: Earworms have been known to infest a road trip and other such situations. Knowingly starting an earworm situation could get you ejected from the car.
The Leadville Trail 100 (LT100) is well on its way to becoming the Ironman of mountain bike racing. There are plenty of people unhappy about the direction the race has taken, others are happy and others have no idea there are any issues.
Let me explain.
The LT100 began in 1994 as a quirky mountain bike race. The major goal of the event was similar to that of the Leadville 100 Run, beginning in 1983, and that was to bring visitors to Leadville. The economy in town was facing hard times and race directors Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin wanted to do something to help. They dreamed of athletes being drawn to Leadville for some of the most challenging events in the world.
Each year, their event grew in popularity. Most of the growth was due to word of mouth. Mountain bike riders that completed the event told their friends about it and recruited more mountain bike riders for the next year. Though the course is not considered technical by mountain biking standards, good bike handling skills are necessary as is good fitness. Many riders struggle to reach the four time check points.
Missing a check point means getting pulled from the race. Missing the 12-hour cut-off time means no coveted belt buckle.
Certainly the event was growing nicely on its own. The first year I entered the event there was a lottery system and not all entrants got into the event. There were 750 entrants, 600 toed the start line. After Lance Armstrong did the event in 2008, the event saw a lot more media attention.
The race not only received more media attention, but it also received more attention from sponsors. The list of sponsors interested in being associated with this event grew. The event attracted the attention of Life Time Fitness owner Bahram Akradi and Life Time Fitness became the title sponsor of the event.
Those familiar with triathlon know that Life Time Fitness was the title sponsor of the first event to pay good prize money to triathletes with the “Equalizer” event. It paid $250,000 to the first male or female across the finish line. Life Time literally changed the pay scale for professional triathletes.
The media attention for the Leadville 100 (LT100) mountain bike race expanded exponentially in 2009 with the release of the film by Citizen Pictures, Race Across the Sky and more Lance Armstrong effect. Suddenly people everywhere around the world wanted entry into this extreme challenge. In the 2010 event there were 1,553 entrants via the lottery system – more than double that of just six years ago. How many racers tried to enter, but were denied entry is uknown but rumored numbers are big.
The LT100 is now faced with what many business owners want - and that is growing pains. Your product is so successful that people are clamoring to get it.
Most people want growth but cannot foresee the problems that growth brings. Successful businesses, and make no mistake this is a business, find ways to solve the problems so the customer (sponsors and racers) remains satisfied with the product.
What are some of the issues that this growing business faces? Below are a few that I gathered after talking with several racers post-event. In no particular order:
The race is a self-seeded, mass-start event with the exception of the reserved first 100. Certain professionals riders, VIPs and race sponsors are allowed into the first 100. If you lay your bike on the street at 4:00am, you secure a spot. Imagine if you are an expert rider and you have secured your spot behind someone that has never raced a mountain bike before? Yes, it happens all the time.
The ride begins on a city street and after about 10 minutes of downhill on pavement it turns to single vehicle wide dirt. The first climb, St. Kevin’s begins some 20ish minutes into the race. This climb is rugged jeep road with a good amount of the climb on 15 to 17 percent grade and it’s loose. Riders are tire-to-tire on this section and when one rider clips out, it can send a line of people off their bikes or down. Recall there are no categories for riders and no prequalification. Roadies, can you imagine starting a road race where all categories line up mass-start, first come first serve?
On the second climb, Sugarloaf, the crowd has thinned ever so slightly, but the first technical descent is coming up. Though it is not single-track there is one good line on the descent. Riders with good climbing fitness on the road and no mountain bike skills are grabbing lots of brake and creating an ant line crawling down the hill. Experienced mountain bike riders are forced to crawl too, or take a chance passing in dicey conditions. This leads to frustration and unnecessary risk taking on most of the descents throughout the race. The worst place is Columbine Mine where two-way traffic makes descending particularly tricky.
Sponsor racers form working packs (I’m not talking only about the elite racers), similar to a road race, and help each other in any number of ways – including equipment swaps. (Not allowed in most mountain bike races.)
Summarizing the riding issues, the race has now become an unusual mix of road racing (planned team tactics from corporate sponsors, VIPs and perhaps others), mountain bike (mostly due to equipment and course), and Ironman (no categories, mass start, line-up wherever you think you can finish - no matter if you have zero mountain bike race experience, zero bike racing experience, zero ultra-distance race experience and zero experience at altitude). Rules are loosely enforced and self-interpretation, justification is widely used. Due to the mix of riding skills, safety is an issue.
Twin Lakes station has become so crowded with support crews and spectators (parking and people) that race volunteers find it impossible to get some people to comply with instructions. This log jam delayed the transport of at least one injured racer to an ambulance.
Some people are of the mind-set that this race is so heavily supported with the entry fee, etc. that they can just discard bottles and wrappers on the ground (like some of the pros and sponsor riders do) because “someone” is paid to pick all that stuff up. (Never mind what the wind does between Saturday and Sunday when the volunteers go back to clean up after the race.)
Now with all these issues and more that I didn’t mention, it seems that I’m complaining. Not exactly.
You see, I was able to get a personal best time in 2009 because I seeded myself in a good location, was able to descend at a pace that matched my skills and I found great (skilled, fit and experienced) riders to work with on many of the flat sections so I wasn’t solo time trialing in the wind (like this year).
Are there solutions to all the problems?
Of course, but not all riders will be happy with the changes.
This race has the power to inspire a wave of mountain bike enthusiasts like Ironman helped inspire the growth of the sport of triathlon. It can do it with dignity, responsibility for rider safety, and a fair enforcement of rules and standards for all riders. This can grow the sport for everyone at all levels from the individual rider to the businesses behind sport.
I'm sure this is how many good ideas come about...while riding a bike or doing some other outdoor activity and some incident spurs a flood of ideas. Let me explain.
Last year, I was mountain biking with Scott Ellis and Todd Singiser. We had just joined onto the infamous Towers Road in Lohry State Park, CO from the Spring Creek, Herrington connector trail and were stopped for equipment adjustments. A guy came charging around the group shouting “On your left!!!” as though he was doing the time trial of his life up the service road. He seemed annoyed that we weren’t already aware of his superior riding skills. (Keep in mind we were on the side of the road in a relatively flat section of the climb.)
At first, we didn’t think much about it and chuckled. But, there was something irresistible about that rabbit ahead. Perhaps he could be caught? Before we got on our bikes and began riding, I offered Scott $20 if he could pass the guy before the top of the climb – still some 15 minutes away. The guy had a few minutes lead, but I thought it was doable for Scott. One caveat, the guy had to actually finish the climb.
Scott took off, with Todd and I doing Phil Ligget style commentary from behind. It wasn’t long before we recognized that Scott was reeling the guy in – in fact, we were all reeling him in. Shortly after that, Scott was passing the guy on one of the steeper sections of the climb, when the guy blew-up and had to dismount.
Next Todd spun past the suffering fellow and he responded a weak “hey” to Todd as the pass was made. (He apparently made the same greeting to Scott as well.) When I made my pass, the guy glanced at me with a combination of disappointment/embarrassment/anger/surprise.
This behavior didn’t go unnoticed by Scott and Todd.
When the three of us made it to the top of the climb, we waited for the fellow to show. We waited quite a long time. Unfortunately for Scott, since the $20 was contingent upon the guy actually making to the top of the climb, I claimed that no payout would be made.
We were all discussing the fine-print language of the wager, which lead to recapping the entire incident. Scott and Todd were chatting and one of them commented, “You should have said, ‘Girl, on your left.’” They surely must have thought that the comment would have encouraged the guy to ride a little further up the hill, rather than dismounting so soon.
Initially we got a good chuckle out of it, but then we began thinking that it would be fun to have jerseys that said “On Your Left” on them. Last winter we brainstormed all kinds of beginnings to the “…on your left” phrase, along with multiple applications. We thought we could become the “On Your Left” gang and would invite others to join us.
Fast forward the story to last week, when I got a wild hair to try to get the first “On Your Left” jersey produced so I could wear it for the Leadville 100. The story and the phrase just makes me smile. I’ll need all the smiling I can muster at several points during the upcoming race because that’s just how long-distance racing goes.
The jersey did get produced thanks to several people. A huge thanks goes to Steve Marshall at Peloton Cycles for working with the Pearl Izumi rep. to get me a jersey on very short notice. (The PI is taped out because it’s reflective and ruins the photo.) More kudos to SAI Team Sports North for doing such a fast turnaround, high quality job on a single item. Every other screener I talked to wanted a minimum of six pieces. While we will likely produce more jerseys, I needed just one prototype and I needed it fast.
The final thanks goes to Del, who wholeheartedly supports all of my grand adventures. He is also the one that came up with the phrase on the left pocket of the first jersey; and that’s another story…
When the biggest challenge is to simply complete the event...
...perhaps the Colorado Trail Race is for you?
The Colorado Trail Race: 470 miles and 65,000' of elevation gain winding through the Colorado Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango. Approximately 300+ miles of singletrack at elevations ranging from 5500' to a gasping-for-breath 13,200'. The CTR is a monster! If the monster is in a good mood, you may experience Colorado's beautiful sunny blue skies and wildflowers blooming as far as you can see! But, be warned — the CTR's mood can change on a whim, and you may just as likely find yourself getting besieged by massive hailstones and lightning bolts. In short, don't come to this race unprepared — no one will be there to rescue you.
The CTR is similar to The Arizona Trail 300 and The Great Divide Race. There is no entry fee, no support, no registration, and no prize money. It is a self-timed ITT (Individual Time Trial): all that is provided is a route description, a suggested start time, and a list of results. However, all individuals participating are strongly encouraged to donate time or money to the Colorado Trail Foundation. Without them, we wouldn't have this trail!
Would you be interested in spectating all or part of this race?
Would you be more interested if there was a UCI women's race along with the men's event?
Would you be even more interested if you could race as a licensed rider during the event? (i.e. There were crits for age/category riders held in one of the finishing cities in the morning and the pros finish in the afternoon.)
Because I hold a USA Cycling license, I received the special announcement pasted below. I’m fairly certain it is related to the new UCI Stage Race to be held in Colorado in 2011 that Lance Armstrong and Governer Ritter have been working towards:
Join Colorado cyclists for a special announcement on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Wednesday morning
Dear Colorado Cyclist,
On behalf of USA Cycling and the sport of cycling in Colorado, I would like to invite you to attend a special announcement on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol this Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. We’d like to show appreciation for Governor Ritter, Lance Armstrong and others as they unveil plans to bring major international bicycle racing back to the great state of Colorado!
We hope you can join us Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol at 200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO. It's going to be crowded so you might want to come early!
Also, Lance just announced via Twitter that he and the Governor are leading a short ride immediately following the event so you might want to come dressed and ready to ride!
I’ve gotten several questions from racers asking about walking vs. riding the Columbine Mine section of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. I’ve told them that walking the steepest sections of the climb may not hurt your overall race time and may help.
How can walking during a mountain bike race make you faster?
Doing any ultra-distance race that takes some 9 to 12 hours for 86-percent of the field, is a balancing act for the majority of riders. Many of these races, Leadville included, have cut-off times at various aid stations. You have to be fast enough to make the cut-offs early in the race without that speed costing you so much that you blow up later in the race.
The 2009 race was an unplanned lesson in walking for me. I ended up walking more the Columbine Mine section that I had done in past years. There was really no choice because the road was rock and rutted, there were riders coming down the mountain at high speeds (using the left side of the road), and everyone in front of me was walking. There was no easy way to pass people without spending loads of energy and risking a crash. So I walked and pushed my bike.
When faster walkers wanted by, I happily let them go. If people were trying to ride through that mess, I gave them as much room as possible. When others were grumbling about walking, I just kept thinking…most speed, least cost. It paid off.
Below is a chart that summarizes my past five races:
Twin Lakes I
Twin Lakes II
Turn around at top of hill
Turn around bottom of hill by old building
Added 1mi to course, single-track, TWI, PII affected
The top line for each year is the split time, the bottom line is accumulated total through that aid station.
Though I walked more of the mine in 2009 than the previous year, I was at higher intensity for less time on that climb. I think that helped me cut half an hour off the back end of the race because I was able to ride a faster average speed coming from Pipeline II to the finish line.
If you are forced, or choose to, walk some of the steep sections at high altitude; perhaps it will work in your favor?
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